Owen Wilson has shared a rare insight into his past struggles with depression in a new interview that reveals how his brother Andrew helped him after surviving a suicide attempt fourteen years ago.
Reports emerged in 2007 that the "Marley and Me" star had attempted to take his own life. He has refrained from discussing the incident but offered a glimpse into his mind frame at the time in a new Esquire cover story for the magazine's September 2021 issue.
In the article, Wilson tells writer Ryan D’Agostino how Andrew "stayed in his house with him" following the suicide attempt. He would write up "little schedules for each day so that life seemed at first manageable and then, at some point, a long time later, actually good."
Looking back, Wilson admitted he thought about dying as a kid and tried to open up about his fears with his parents.
"As a kid, there’s a lot of things that you think about," he told Esquire. "Death — that kind of landed with me when I was about eleven. And I don’t remember ever talking with my parents about it. Although I do remember one time saying to my dad — and I remember exactly where in the house — saying, 'I worry about dying,' and seeing my dad turn away and catch himself. And I was surprised to see that reaction. But who knows, maybe that was part of why I said it."
In an email to D’Agostino, Wilson wrote about life, and its dramatic ups and downs.
"Sometimes it seems like life is being played by Gene Hackman in Hoosiers. Tough but fair. He’s going to demand a lot, but if you play as a team and do your job, things work out. That’s a good feeling. Things make sense," he wrote.
Then things flip and life seems to be played by Tom Hardy in "The Revenant," which is "some nightmarish guy trying to kill you," Wilson continued, "where even if you get the upper hand, he’s still going to be there at the end whispering, 'This ain’t gonna bring your boy back' or your dad back or any good times from your past back. Or whatever. And when life’s being played by that guy, you just gotta hang on and wait for it to pass."
Now Wilson says he is in a much better space, experiencing feelings of appreciation and optimism.
"I know everything's kind of up and down, but when you get on one of these waves, you've gotta ride it as long as you can," he said. "I've just felt — yeah. Feeling pretty grateful. Well, grateful's one of those words that get used all the time. Appreciative. Of, you know, stuff."
If you are having thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) or go to SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for a list of additional resources.
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